Summary: Paul uses an OT illustration to hightlight the difference between human effort and God’s promise.

Series: Study of Galatians

Text: Galatians 4:21-5:1

Title: “Children of Promise”

Vs. 21

• “Do you not hear the law?”

o Do you not understand what the law is teaching?

o James 2:10

I. Children of Bondage (22-25)

Vs. 22

• Paul begins to make a comparison between the promise of God and the efforts of man, as illustrated through the births of Ishmael and Isaac.

o Ishmael  son of a bond woman.

Vv. 23-25

• Ishmael was born out of Abraham’s attempt to fulfill God’s promise in his own power  therefore Ishmael represented a natural birth.

II. Children of Praise (26-28)

• Isaac on the other hand was the child of God’s promise, the son that God gave to Abraham and Sarah when it was no longer naturally possible for them to have children  therefore Isaac represented a supernatural birth.

o One born according to the flesh and the other born according to the Spirit.

o Jesus clearly taught that anyone who wants to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven must be reborn, that is passing from that bondage of the flesh into the freedom of the Spirit.

o John 3:1-6

III. Application (29-5:1)

Vs. 29

• Those who work according to the flesh have and always will persecute those who are saved by the promise according to the Spirit. (We understand the promise is Jesus Christ)

o This was true during Jesus’ ministry, here during Paul’s ministry and it is still true today.

o Think about how legalism has hindered the church in just our own lifetime.

o How has legalism crept into the church??

Vs. 30

• Paul says to cast out those among you who are advocating justification by works.

o Notice he does not say find common ground, ignore your differences and focus on your common beliefs, but cast them out.

o Why take such drastic action?

o 1 Corinthians 5:5-7

Vv. 31-5:1

• We are no longer under the obligation of man, but we are now free in Jesus Christ.

o “Keep standing firm” in the liberty by which Christ made us free  faith.

• Even though we are free from the yoke of bondage we are still under obligation to live faithfully to the LORD.

o Matthew 11:28-30

o “All you who labor”  “all who work to exhaustion.”

o Jesus is not speaking of physical labor, it has the idea of being emotionally fatigued or discouraged.

o From carrying the weight or burden of works orientated salvation.

o Vs. 29 “Take my yoke.”

o Freedom in Christ doesn’t mean you are free to just do as you please and live how you want.

o Taking the guidance or direction of Christ so that we may learn from Him, but also finding rest for our souls.

o Vs. 30 Because obedience to Christ happens from the inside out, not an attempt to change our hearts by changing our behavior.

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